Ardbeg An Oa– Pour me a bland & weak whisky, said no one ever……In order to drive that point home, just grab a bottle of powerful smoky goodness from Islay. The nose is delightfully peaty with a serious dose of sweetness. The flavors here include butterscotch, mild pepper, and some subtle dark chocolate. This amber malt has been aged in charred oak, sherry, and bourbon barrels. The marriage seems to have created an explosive harmony second to none. The distillers left off an age statement but do not shy away, this dram is worth your investment. At 93 proof, it will get your attention right off the bat, strong, rounded, and proud of it. I advise tasting it neat as bottled, but if you add a bit of water, it may cloud up, as it is non-chill filtered. The wacky name comes from a seaside mount called Oa, which shelters the distillery from the Atlantic Ocean’s fury and allows the makers and nature to do their work. So instead of bland and weak, I choose power and character, rated a muscular 8 on the snob scale.